tv Washington Journal CSPAN September 11, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT
at 8:30, more about the 9/11 anniversary in national security with max born very of texas, a member of the intelligence committee. -- mac thornberry. host: on this september 11, 2012, america remembers when nearly 3000 americans were killed when they struck the world trade towers and the pentagon three years ago. this morning, for the first time elected officials will not speak at this year's elected officials -- at this year's service in new york, and some communities have decided to scale back the plans for remembrances. it raises the question, 11 years later, how should we remember
september 11? for democrats, 202-737-0001. for republicans, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. president obama and firstly, michelle obama, will observe a moment of silence at 8:35 eastern time, the same time when flight 11 struck the tower. there is a shot of the pentagon this morning with a flag draped over that building. meanwhile, mitt romney will be speaking at the national guard's annual conference. flags across washington today are at half mast to mark the anniversary. there are hearings on capitol hill. on the house side they will take a look at preventing terrorists from entering united states. "usa today" on their front page "as time passes."
there was a tremendous chance to study this event that was not allowed. host: all right, virginia. parker, independent line. good morning. caller: we should be honoring those who lost their lives 10 years ago. and we should be helping those people need help with their health insurance from the blast. host: there is an update on that this morning in "of the baltimore sun." "the 70,000 surviving firefighters and other first responders who worked at the world trade center after the attack will be entitled to free monitoring treatment for some 50 forms of cancer." that is an update this morning on the part of the story.
remember, you can also send us your comments via twitter, twitter.com/c-spanwj. or you can send us an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. john, independent, baltimore. caller: i would agree with what is being set by most americans, that we need to move on. that does not mean that we forget what has taken place, but as a nation we need to be united and we need to really know what the threat is in this country. i think -- i was just watching a brookings on c-span that aired yesterday. defensiveness by the audience there, and also the gentleman from the brookings institute -- my goodness, you would think
that this is just a little party. we do not seem to understand what has happened, especially if you look at other western countries, most notably france, with a huge muslim population. there are areas of france that the average person cannot go into. i am not picking on muslims, but it just so happens that this tremendous tragedy in our country, that is where i came -- that is where it came from. we need to be vigilant on our part as a nation to do what is right. we do not hate muslims, but we certainly hate some of the acts. host: do you feel safer, today? caller: excuse me? host: do you feel safer? caller: i feel safe if we
continue to be vigilant and not allow someone to just tell us that we hate muslims. no, we hate the terrorist acts being perpetrated against the country. these terrorists said they wanted to destroy this country. i think we need to be vigilant and support and do whatever it takes. i am not for putting boots on the ground in these countries, but i think that this new thing they are using -- host: then there is the influence of possible terrorist groups in syria. caller: i think we have to be careful who our friends are. i will make a statement and i know i am not qualified to make it in the foreign intelligence or foreign policy business, but when i hear that we have a state department with 60,000
employees, i say to myself -- what are we doing in terms of foreign policy? going back to iran, back when the shah was there, then we go to iraq, saddam hussein, he was a good boy at one point. we have to learn to shoot straight when it comes to foreign policy. host: i have to get some other voices in here. bob? go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i had a personal remembrances about 9/11. i woke up at 11:00. my mother, who had died of alzheimer's, said i needed to see this thing on television. i was speaking with a friend of mine over at the spartan route. i said -- you know, these guys
are muslim fundamentalists and fanatics. they might have their real names on the manifest. go look at that. follow the money. they went back and confirmed what the fbi report said from earlier that year, which had been kind of pushed under. we got lucky in that times square bombing. we solved that one. thank god the bomb did not off. but you know, we have had 10,000 people die in that war. thank god we got osama bin laden and it was a police action. thank you so much. host: how should we mark the day? last night on facebook we ask
all of you to comment on how america has changed in the 11 years. host: you can put your comments on facebook about how we should mark this day or how america has changed. here is "the boston globe" this morning. "a quieter 9/11, after an intense anniversary last year, families welcome a setback." "for some, it means scaling back." "some communities have decided to scale back, prompted by a growing feeling that it may be time to move on. nearly every ceremony will be smaller this year, even after
the epicenter of the attacks has stripped the ceremony of its politicians who have in the past read literary or religious policies. instead, bagpipers and a huge chorus will provide the music. george w. bush, desmond tutu, they'll serve under prayer services, and there was a three day commemoration involving president obama. this year there will be simply prayers on tuesday." also, related to the 9/11 story, work will restart on a september 11 museum after nearly one year of discord and delay, michael bloomberg and andrew cuomo reached an agreement to resume construction of the museum. the tentative resolution
involves additional cash payments. closer coordination amongst the parties and the creation of a community -- committee to resolve the dispute, the museum will contain thousands of artifacts, audiovisual displays, profiles of the victims, and photographs of the 19 hijackers. they will share financial data with the port authority and provide as needed for construction for any operating surplus beginning in 2018. it has already contributed $280 million in construction and raise $170 million in contributions for operating -- raised $170 million in contributions for operating expenses." we have a live shot this morning of the world trade center
memorial site in new york city, where there will be a ceremony starting at 8:46. bells will toll at that time to mark when the first tower was struck. we will have coverage of that for you as well here on c-span. dillon, republican, go ahead. caller: personally, i think that we should mark it however we think it should be demonstrated, but i do not think that this event should be forgotten. host: ok. bob, new york. read their on 9/11? caller: yes, i was here. i will never forget it. of course, the first thing for me that will always mark the day is the few people that i knew directly or indirectly that
died that day. and their families. i will never be able to not think about 9/11 as the excuse that our former president george w. bush used to lie us into a multi-trillion dollar war in the middle east, a cherry picking the intelligence. i remember the months before 9/11, all the news about him being in texas at his ranch, raking, a president without a purpose. whenever overtook his mind that day was because of 19 hijackers
who involved in this country in a war effort that is continuing on more than one decade later in the middle east. he just had no purpose, our president, prior to 9/11. with the help of dick cheney, we are still fighting a ragtag group of hijackers, who no doubt were dangerous, who required action from this country, certainly not the action of taking us into a war. finding a osama bin laden through special operations, taking their business -- i am all for taking care of business, trust me, but certainly not by the trillions and the deaths on the part of all the soldiers and the injured, hundreds of thousands of both sides. it is just a terrible thing we have gotten ourselves into.
host: anthony is also in new york this morning. caller: i agree with the other new yorker very much on everything that the said. the other thing that people are not looking at is that clinton got the israelis together and there was a big party. there was no terroring going on at that part -- at that point in time. then the leaders were killed and netanyahu took everything off the table. then they went back to square one. the terrorists have tried to get our attention. here in new york city i saw what was going on and i was not shocked. i knew that something would happen. we have to pay attention. bill clinton was the only president who got them to sit down and make peace and they
left us alone. american planes, american bombs, american bulldozers, knocking down houses in palestine? that is why they hate us. it is the product of a suicide. houses blowing up, they say build it on me. host: can i get your thoughts on the world trade center area today? we're showing viewers what looks like this morning. what do you think of the construction there? caller code i am pleased, very pleased that we americans are all resilience. i am not happy with what happened on 9/11. i am no different from any other american. but there was so much propaganda that we do not
understand the real problem. but ron paul does. he says it in a nice, quiet way. leave the iranians alone. host: let's get some other voices in here this morning. first, this traffic from "the washington times." -- this graphic from "the washington times." host: yesterday, they reported "what you are looking at right now will cost $60 million per year to operate once the roughly $700 million project is complete. marking this spot will cost $4.5 million to $5 million annually. -- annually."
tony, good morning. caller: can you hear me? host: you are on the air. how should we be marking this day? caller: as we have marked every anniversary of 9/11, morning the tragedy, but also hopefully one day get some serious investigative journalists to make sure that our government is not responsible for any type of terrorist attacks. blaming some faceless, nameless muslims for the war. host: the chicago tribune this morning, this headline, " attendance is light at safe haven sites, a key points of contention still unresolved. -- unresolved." that is this morning in "the chicago tribune." "the new york times" with their story, revealing a rift between
unions and rohm emmanuel, a democrat and former chief of staff to president obama, raising the prospect of a lingering strike in the home town of the president could become an issue during the election year. this is what the two sides are negotiating. the city wants to boost test scores to 40%, but the union does not. they want teachers to have first dibs on job openings. they're offering an increase on the raises over the next year, plus modification to the current contract. union leaders say that the two sides are close on that and that if the city wants to modify health benefits it will result in a small increase in co-
payments." those of the issues in chicago as they enter day number two of that strike. other political news this morning, mitt romney, president obama will be addressing the clinton's summit. both will speak in new york city on september 25 at his summit. speaking of bill clinton, he will be campaigning with the president today in florida. go to our website for more details about that campaign event. you can also go to our election 2012 coverage on the web site as well. the clinton convention speech in charlotte, out shining obama according to a new poll.
"former president bill clinton's defense of president obama at the democratic national convention was better than the obama defense of himself. when people asked -- when people were asked what the highlight was, his speech out-polled ama's, 2-1." anthony, how should this day be marked? caller: a new investigation should be march. i would ask you to please bring up "the new york times" article from a seventh, 2004, a tape of air traffic controllers destroyed, a tape made on 9/11. it does not analyze why, but it shows that important tapes made that were involved with the flights were destroyed by the supervisors six months later, after they had been made. they were made just after the
attacks, within hours, allowing the controllers to describe what they experienced. because the following day there would not be working because of the situation. it is normal protocol for them to have the following day off after an incident. host: matthew, republican line, washington, go ahead. caller: i agree with a lot of points, i disagree with a lot points, but the question that you keep asking everyone is how we should mark this day. to meet, this is a new holiday -- to me, this is a new holiday. it to remember fallen heroes, people who suffered a great tragedy. the people of the united states need to keep continuing to remember.
in my opinion, it was a graphic thing, a horrible thing, a terrific thing. just kind of like -- i go to work sometimes and i say -- hey, you know what today is? for a harbor. they're like no, i had no idea. what are you talking about? the thing is, i do not want this to become another thing gets forgotten about. i was a soldier in the military, for lewis, washington, when this happened, and i could not believe what was going on in front of me. it is a really emotional thing, because i have friends and family in new york also. they were there when this happened. my heart almost stopped. host: you and others might be interested in our coverage today. c-span 3, 8:15 a.m. eastern
time, you can watch the ceremonies there. c-span 2, we will bring you the coverage of the pentagon ceremony, where the president and vice president will be. then we will go up to the capital for the ceremony up there. c-span.org has more details. go to that, if you are interested. also this morning, "the daily news" has a special section this morning called "remember them." 7 pages dedicated to the victims. this is "the orange county register." "a major breakthrough for u.s.- backed efforts in that country."
host: we will be talking about the state of al qaeda later this morning on "the washington journal." california, independent line, you are next. caller: terry here, a quick reminder, new york, new york, and las vegas, they still displayed those in a special room and they switch them round every so often. i did meet them at the hotel. i did not know it was him. he asked me one question, but did it change the policy and israel? i said i don not think that anything destroyed anywhere would change our policy and anything. he kept coming on the television and i kept saying i knew that
guy. host: that was terry in california. mitt romney and paul ryan have put out statements today about the 9/11 anniversary. paul ryan saying that today is a day to remember and pay tribute. the vice presidential nominee there. candidate, excuse me. and then mitt romney said that this was a somber day where we stand tall for peace and freedom. here is a story from "the washington times." "mexicans caught entering the summer illegally in the deadly summer heat, this is a money- saving move."
host: we will go to michael, a republican in california. caller: nice to see you. boy, i will tell you, washington journal never fails to disappoint. the first call was from that professor at the rosie o'donnell school of metallurgy. these last three years we have been hearing that the president in office now, that no one has been disrespected like this president. and we hear three out of five democrats believe that george bush cold-blooded lee murdered
3000 american innocent citizens for domestic a political gain? project much, democrats? republicans, remember this. when these people say that the work -- that the president that we have now is being disrespected like no other president, perot member how three out of five democrats believe that former president bush and vice president cheney masterminded the slaughter of 3000 innocent americans. stay classy, c-span. host: here is the editorial page for you this morning. this is from "of the new york post." "11 years after the continental attack, new york remains safe." in "the washington times" this morning, victory is off the radar of obama, they are saying.
"veterans leaving the force today might not even have been teenagers when the attacks happened. the looming reality of the conflict in afghanistan and iraq is more compelling. many americans have turned to other service members, even as casualty's climb to record highs." that is from "the washington times" this morning. the only other paper with an editorial about 9/11 was "usa today."
host: queens, new york, john, independent. how should this anniversary be marked? caller: i wanted to point out how my fellow new yorkers have called in and tried to politicize this, i wanted to said that i think we should remember the people who perished, remember the people who came to our aid. a lot of people forget, if you are not a new yorker, that is fine, but i new york if you remember how we all came together, we should not politicize this. we were all people, and yorkers, humans. i would love for us to come back to that. host: in washington this week, members of congress returned for two weeks of legislative before they go on another break until after the elections.
"the fiscal year ends this month, but congress has passed none of their annual spending bills, forcing a stopgap measure this week to avoid a shutdown of government agencies beginning in october." host: also on the docket, a short term farm bill, since there is conflict and disagreement over a long-term one. one of the major sticking point has been the cuts to the supplemental nutrition system commonly known as food stamps. that is what is happening on capitol hill. later this week, people will be watching the fed very closely after a two day policy meeting and whether or not we are looking at qe3.
this is an opinion piece from "the new york times" this morning. "because of quantitative easing, commodity prices have been driven up. abandoning qe3 would be the equivalent of its dividend tax cut for the middle class." in "the washington post" this morning they write that whenever they come up with, it could muddy the message, a problem that many economists say could make their problem in a factual and counterproductive. that is when the fed announces their next move for the economy, thursday." -- thursday. "budget deficit topped $1 trillion for the fourth time."
no politicians in new york at the world trade center memorial. our cameras will be covering that this morning on c-span 3. what do you think? how should it be marked? >> we should mark this date by never forgetting that there were numerous warnings given to the bushes -- bush administration way before 9/11. george tennant said that "his hair was on fire." bush received many daily presidential briefing from the cia stating that al qaeda was planning to attack very soon. another thing we should never forget, when these families want a 9/11 commission study to learn what happened and find ways to keeps -- keep us safe, the bush administration block that investigation for almost two years. two years that were wasted in finding ways to keep us safe.
host: there is a piece in the op-ed section of "the new york times" this morning, about warnings from for president -- warnings received by former president george w. bush. john, independent line, good morning. caller: going further than stephanie, there was a piece about one week ago analyzing the similarities between the support for radical groups in syria and the previous report in the 1980's of radical groups in afghanistan. the cia has a lot to do with formulating al qaeda against the russians. they are doing the same thing now in syria, against the syrian government.
as the article accurately stated, in the support for the groups in afghanistan, it seems as though we have not really learned from those lessons in history. host: las vegas, david, democratic line. caller: i think it is time to just move on. you have memorials set up. people want to go, they can pay their respects or whenever, but if you get past that, maybe we can figure out exactly why this is happening and maybe find a way to solve it without killing each other. host: in foreign affairs news this morning, here is the story from the front page of "the wall
happening. the gym teacher came into the classroom and said that the white house had been evacuated. we were all confused, we came into the cafeteria to watch television and we began watching the news for the rest of the day. and so forth. host: julie, california. in, a democrat, you are next. caller: apologies this morning. how're you? host: doing fine. what are your thoughts? caller: that this is an individual thing. for eight out of 50, it could be someone who is a parent who was taken from the tower, it could be a firefighter, a police officer. a lot of these officers there,
firefighters, are suffering from cancer related issues. we need to go with these people as well. seems like if i remember last year, president obama and the first lady, it seemed like president bush and laura bush were there, if i remember correctly. it seems like just last year. do you remember that? host: what is the point? caller come my point is i think we need to be more resounding and start supporting our government, our president, and quit denigrating our leaders, especially the president. i think he is doing a great job. he will be reelected. i have said that as far back as november 2010 on facebook.
host: i am going to leave it there so that we can get to the next guest this morning. from "the washington post" editorial" this morning, it says "syria's sectarian infection." host: that is "the washington post" this morning. a career diplomat will be announced as the next choice to be the diplomat in iraq.
on cyber security, the white house is ready to issue an executive order to prevent cyber-attacks. we will talk about that in the last hour, along with members of congress who are coming up next. jacksonville, you are our last this morning. go ahead. caller: i have three things i wanted to say. i have a sister who was in the second hour, in the 70th floor. i also had a brother in the first hour, he was a contractor, going out to get a permit. my brother for got a piece of paper and decided that he would walk back home, because he lived in new york, and at the same time he left the building and walked swiftly towards his home and got about one block away and he heard an airplane, he looked
up, he saw it hit the tower. he ran back. when he got that, there were people all over the place. it was no more than 15 minutes. my sister was in the second hour. she was back home one morning. my sister, the floor that she was on, they decided to evacuate. they left and started walking down the stairs and were told by security that it was okay in the building and she refused to go back up. host: thank you for sharing your personal story. thank you for all the phone calls this morning. we need to move on at this point. coming up next, mark begich, senator from alaska, will be -- continue our discussion and we will talk about the state of national security with him. max born very will be after
that. first, a look at the latest congressional connection poll, looking at medicare with stephen shepard. let's talk about the first question here the u.s. those the surveyed. what do you make of this? guest: it is a thorny issue for both parties. when we asked these questions, what we found was that just 28% of people strongly agreed that medicare would be there for them when they got older. when you have those who said that they somewhat agreed, it only gets a 50%. only half of americans agree that medicare will be there for them. a little bit later we asked if we thought -- did you think major changes were needed to
medicare? there is now an opening, particularly for republicans looking to reform medicare. host: the next question -- congress is likely to cut medicare and will be unable to cover health-care costs. 21% strongly agreed. 22% street -- somewhat agreed. 34% strongly disagreed. what do you make of that? caller, you have a bare majority -- guest: you have a bare majority that does not believe the congress will cut medicare, but it is only a slight majority, so there is a slight recognition that there are cuts on the table. host: this question -- medicare is running out of money and needs to change to survive. 39% strongly agree. 15% strongly disagree. he said this is an opening for
republicans. why? caller code shows americans as open to the idea of cutting medicare to make it more affordable and sustainable. there is an opening, but it requires a different framing of the debate. host: 67% agree that it should continue as it is today, but only 27% agreed should be changed to a voucher system. some refused to answer the question. host: democrats see this as an opportunity for them at the presidential level and the congressional level. democrats have decided to do this and since the republicans took over the house in 2011,
they have used the plan against the republicans as they know at. that is the slogan on the trail. according to this poll, you have americans, when it comes to these choices, they favor keeping medicare. host: when you talk about entitlement programs in this next question, many people say the have to go after those if you're going to reduce the deficit. 52% of americans -- 34% say to review -- reduce the deficit. 51% want to keep the programs as they are. 10% say to go after both equally. what do you make of that? caller: that is pretty interesting, given what we have seen over time -- guest: that is pretty interesting, given what we have seen over time. ironically, as you look at these questions, what do you want to cut most, the most popular, and
this is only roughly half and half, it is defense spending. that is what both parties are seeking to avoid right now. host: the last question here, who do you trust on medicare? president obama and congressional democrats? 54% said they trusted them. 9% said neither. what do you think both parties do with a poll like this when they see these numbers? caller: -- guest: republicans can use it to the idea of tweaking medicare in the same way. keep in mind, this question about which party you trust most comes after the question about the republican proposal to reform medicare. it does not reflect the initial
advantage, but it does reflect the actual advantage. american's right now do not really support changing medicare in the way the republicans want to. at least a paul ryan budget did peso was passed last year. host: this is such a hot issue right now between the campaigns. how did you do your poll? guest: this was a random sample of americans 18 and up. it did not necessarily reflect the electorate, election day. usually that tends to be a few points more republican or conservative. this is a random sample. the question matters, is a question about which party you trust most after a description of the republican proposal on medicare that is unpopular. that might make democrats more
trustworthy in the question afterwards. so, context matters. host: thank you for your time this morning. caller: -- guest: thank you for having me. host: senator mark begich, joining us this morning. 9/11, how should this they be marked? guest: all of the senate and house members will be recognized in the anniversary this morning. everyone should reflect. i remember the call from my sister early in the morning. i was in alaska and there was the time difference. you remember and at the same time reflect them where we have been. i think that the 11:00 ceremony today is important. obviously, back home, in everyone's own way they recognize what this means to them, individually and personally.
host: what did you do when you got that phone call? guest: the first thing i did was go down and turn on the television. it was fairly early, alaska time. the television was on early down there. they heard this, turned it on, it was amazing to watch. it was hard to believe. it was like watching a movie, not real life. within seconds it hits you that this is really happening. for alaska, it is unique. it was hunting season. people were out and drop off in remote locations by the air when they were taking. the problem was airspace became shut off. folks who had anticipated being picked up in the wilderness had no clue there were not being picked up because no planes were coming in.
with so much general aviation, it made an immediate impact. host: you are fairly new to the committee, but do you feel safer 11 years later? guest: i do. on the one hand, you feel safer, on the other hand you are always looking for what more can be done. how far do you go without impacting individual liberties and rights of people? it is interesting, i still struggle as i go through the airport. take off my belt? keep it on? it is a different world that we live in. i am sad to say that. i was walking with my aunt and my mother. she had been here many years ago, but had not seen all of the barricades, the police, and her
comment was house that it was. she remembered a time when you could drive close to the capital, dropping people off without worrying about danger or safety. we have come a long way. host: remind people of your family history. guest: my father served in congress in the 1970's and was lost in a plane crash with the majority leader from the louisiana. i remember as a kid, none of this existed as we see it today. the biggest security was -- when you got down to the underground train, that person there was kind of it. it has changed quite a bit. we are safer, but we have to be careful but how far we go. there have been debates about that over the last several years. host: where are we on that?
>> cyber-security is one of the most recent period there was a great article written yesterday on what is happening in yemen. we took out the number two person there. and the yemeni government was leading that effort and we were a supporting player in that. i think that is how we change it, when countries take charge of what is happening in their own countries. they had thought it would be a safe haven, and it was for a period of time. host: cyber security is the headline in "the washington times" this morning as well. what is in this order? do you still think that there needs to be legislation? guest: you folks are always up at 2:00 a.m. reading everything. i have not read it yet.
i have a 10-year-old, so it is a different story. but we know that the white house has decided to take some efforts to look at where the link -- the weak links were. we think that this pending legislation has more work to be done. there are concerns about who is overseeing a and if they have gone too far, as well as concerns over where the information goes after it is collected. in alaska we have very strong beliefs over individual civil liberties. we are very protective of that. i do not think that the legislation is ready for prime time, but there are a lot people working on it. host: do you think that president obama has not protected the civil liberties and not? here is the headline from a daily caller -- -- from "the
daily caller." "democrats imposed indefinite detention of terror suspects, opposing wiretapping." the platform at the convention in charlotte look a lot different. they softened it. did you agree? guest: i know that platforms are platforms, they are political statements within a campaign. they are reflecting where the president has gone over the last couple of years. we did, you know, strengthen what the president was already doing. there are still questions about how far you still go. there are tricky questions. walking the streets this close to the capital even with security is amazing when you think about it. later in october i will be going
to israel and the security there is much different. you did not move around a lot without heavy security, you know, going into those urban settings. we are very fortunate here, but we are -- we have to be careful not to go too far. there are concerns that sometimes we get overzealous and we may infringe on individuals without impact on our counter- terrorism activities. host: bob, pennsylvania, go ahead. caller: i just want to recall, back in the 1960's, there were a lot of hijackings. people wanted to go to cuba. at that time, the airline declined to armor their cockpit doors. i just wanted to point out that they said it was too expensive.
think about what it costs because they did not do that. two wars we never would have got involved in. the fact that it was so totally predictable. tom clancy wrote a best-seller about it before it happened. you know? guest: it would be great if we could look back and always know the future. i think the point is that with the signals, we have to be more vigilant. there was a period of time prior to the incident in new york where we were not as aggressive as we could have been. i think that what has happened since 9/11 is we are more aggressive. there are people now that take more individual actions about what they see and what they hear. i recently saw an old movie and saw a guy walking right pass security, because there was no
security back and to get on an airplane. you would buy your ticket for cash, go right in, you were on the plane. there was no real security. times have changed. cyber-security, going back 10 years, today it is. there is concern over how we deal with this. the point is, we have to kind of see the future a little more. host: we have a twitter message from a viewer. "how is the efficacy measured other than having not been attacked again? guest: that is a tough one. the minute you get one incident, they say it must have failed. the real issue is -- how many have you thwarted? as you look at the data out
there, you can see incident after incident we have been able to uncover prior to that happening. was that homeland security only? to a certain extent, they contributed a great deal. but the combination of agencies focused on what they were doing to be more secure. but if you look at that, you ask yourself -- what have we done to prevent this from happening? there is a lot the ec over time, great reports over the last year, will we have seen happen and who we want to capture because of these activities. host: do you in your -- agree with drone attacks? guest: i am not sure. host: what do you mean? guest: everything that we look at with regards to homeland security, trying to think of the right word here, when it comes to individual rights, making sure that people do not go overboard, i ran for office,
stepping back several years, we got into a lot of this with the patriot act, which i did not support. i think that it went too far. now we have reports that maybe it did not. in some areas. more and more people are looking at every single action that we take. host: this week the house may take up a bill reoffer rising expired provisions of the foreign intelligence surveillance act, established in 1978, allowing u.s. intelligence agencies to conduct physical and electronic surveillance of suspects. it is amongst one of the top priorities of eric holder." if it came to the senate, would you vote for it?
guest: we have seen reports were they have gone further than they should have in the case of some individuals. i hear that we have to have the information, but it does not have to be done in such a zealous way. host: i wanted to talk about how we should commemorate the day. we were talking about that before. i think maybe we should mark that my may be put in 9/11 on the u.s. calendared, much like we do for memorial day or martin luther king day. maybe not necessarily as a day off. host: i think the president, in 2009, marked it as a date of service. guest: that is great, where people recognize the day. you are right, he marked it as a day of service. everyone will recognize the
state in their own way. to me, it always reminds me, as i mentioned -- when i heard the incident occurred, what that means. back then, i was not a u.s. senator, and here and now as a senator dealing with this legislation that may impact what happened on 9/11 and what kind of security we should have. your point is a good one, we should continue to recognize it. when we will do today at 11:00 on the steps of the capital and other ceremonies around. host: it is a moment of silence? guest: yes, and also a moment of celebration for those that we have to remember. first responders of this nation, in cities across the country, people are participating. we have folks from alaska who went to new york to participate
with the other firefighters, paramedics, police officers. i think we have to recognize it in our own way. certainly, we cannot forget. host: our cameras will be at several places today covering the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies. on c-span 3, you can watch the ceremony in new york city. at around 9:00 eastern, live coverage from the pentagon. our cameras are already there. we have shown you the site of the building grip over with the flood. and then house and senate members, republicans and democrats, getting together on the steps of the capital. boston. independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i think the biggest thing about
9/11 is the opportunity we have lost. we were all bipartisan and this and that. they were all saudi arabian. everyone on the plane was saudi arabian. so we attack afghanistan and iraq. even today we have sanctions against iran and we pushed all these people to go buy oil from saudi arabia. these people funded the insurgents in afghanistan and iraq. host: i think we have your point. guest: your point about where they coming from and what has happened since then, the issue of where we get our energy, without getting into that, you know that energy is a big subject to alaska. thus we are dependent on foreign
oil from countries that do not like us, the better. we know that we spend the money on this oil resources, to countries that an outsourced to keep them in power, folks working against us. people that do not believe that are on another planet. it is just reality. when i was here, i remember my one trip when i was here to new york, i was 9 years old and that point. it was when the world trade center and were being constructed. , to i still remember the building was not completed. we went into a construction elevator. imagine, as a kid, going up with your mom and dad, to see that facility was amazing. you described ground zero. i remember when it was being constructed. host: "the washington times" reporting that it will cost $6
million annually to operate the site. what do you think of the money spent? guest: any time you see any article, they will be knocking on the door here. they wanted the government to pay about 25% of it. we have to participate but we also have to remember there are memorials about the korean war, world war i, world warii, the vietnam, so we have to make sure that we take care of those as well. host: $3.6 million for the monument that includes the arizona memorial. running arlington national cemetery, $45 million annually.
compared to that $60 million. guest: it is a big price tag. i know the foundation had done a lot of work raising money, but it will be a struggle. host: kansas city. you are next. caller: i am a retired firefighter. i basically work for fame as a contractor. now i am a chauffeur going in and out of our local airport. we had an illusion of security. we lived in the big house on the corner and there is really no way we can protect ourself if someone wants to get us. we have to really understand how our footprint affects the rest of the world and we have to become a better world citizen. we also have to realize, as we see these things happening against us, we need to fight
harder for unity amongst ourselves. we are so polarized with everything we do. how can we expect the rest of the world to accept democracy when we fight against our own democracy? guest: when there are folks out there who want to harm us and they see us are doing, they see that as a weakness, to an extent. you report every day about the great debates that occur in the capital, but that is what they should be, a debate of the ideas, challenging each other, and then moving forward as a country. people that want to do us harm look for any moment of weakness to take advantage of. i think his point is well taken. it is almost impossible to make as 100% safe. that is an impossible task. it will take every dime we have
and more. but every citizen has an obligation to participate and be part of that equation. do not just look to the police officer, firefighter, tsa officer. we all have a role to make sure that we are safe. sometimes we forget we are part of this process. we do not just turn our back to this and say hopefully it all works out. we are part of that. we should be keeping our eyes open, just like anyone else. if we see unusual things happening, we should report them. host: phil. orange port, florida. caller: we should not only remember 9/11, but we should also remember our history, or we are doomed to repeat it. i look back to germany in the years and 1932 through 1945, and
i want to touch on 1945 in a bit. we look at the election of adolf hitler, and then in 1933, the fire, and then the enabling act, and then the wars of aggression. eventually, nuremberg, after the allies won. and then they said that it was easy to take a country to war. just tell them that they are being attacked and then classified the dissenting and peacemakers as unpatriotic. you go again. the american people need to step back. we have a department of homeland security that has just ordered hundreds of millions of hollow point ammunition. why do we have that, senator? host: let's take that point.
guest: the committee that i said on is homeland security and government services. the reality is, we have to be very careful that we do not oversize, in essence, homeland security. this is a huge agency that is having to manage more than they can handle. the question is did we have enough resources? the answer is, we needed to beat them up. the second is, how do we keep homeland security in check so that they do not go off the deep end? one thing i noticed in congress that we do not do enough of is oversight. we do oversight when there is an article in a paper, we have committee meetings, people give speeches, and we all leave. and then someone starts to tell about it for political purposes to score points back at home.
and then maybe it is a month later. one of the roles that congress does not do enough is oversight, making sure these agencies do not go beyond what they have been assigned to do in their legislative authorities. that is a huge gap that i have noticed in this legislative body, but we do have oversight, but only when there is a headline and we choose to respond to. host: here is a piece about the transparency. guest: i think they should on a regular basis. you want to keep some investigative components confidential, but by making people aware, here are the
efforts we have done, and we have had positive results. that helps the american people. what you do not want to do is make the american people complacent because we're having success. also, when we have success with public members to help us, individuals that stepped up to the plate, we should also highlight them. it does not matter if you are from alaska, new york, kansas -- hey, i am part of that equation. one of the things i love is giving awards to citizens who are good samaritans, maybe they helped in an accident, awarded a crime in progress. that was really a highlight of my job. we do not highlight that enough. people say maybe it is just the people in badges that do this, but no, it is all of us. the transparency issue is a great one, and the point is well taken. host: our guest is mark begich. he sits on the homeland
security and governmental affairs committee. stephen is a republican. auburn, calif.. caller: good morning. i have a question for the senator. government agencies, such as the justice department', wiretapping -- from what i read, they investigate more naturalized american citizens than they do these suspected terrorists. that is what concerns me, and the abuse that is happening with our civil liberties. guest: your point is one that we talked about earlier, and that wiretapping --is, after the last couple of
years, there have been several more ports -- reports where there have been incidental wiretapping where we were concerned about. if fisa comes up, it will be a great debate on the senate side. we are not giving them free rein to do whatever they want. host: do you think the democratic leaders will bring that to the floor? guest: there is a split in the caucus. we know the white house and others are trying to figure of how to get through this maze, but there is a concern of how far you go. maybe the votes are not there. also, cybersecurity came up a couple of months ago, and then it went off the radar screen. people realize we have to deal with cybersecurity. no question about that, but how far do you go? there are enough of us, especially the democrats from western states, that have a different view of privacy
rights. in alaska, we consider ourselves more libertarian with these issues. the right to privacy is imbedded in our convert -- constitution. vermont is the only other state that has that. sometimes we get very excited. i mention these committee hearings. we read an incident about something dramatic that happened, and then we go crazy and we go way overboard. what do we cherish in this country and at do we want to protect? host: democrat line. larry in tennessee. caller: good morning. all the polls that i have seen say that everyone who trust the republicans believe they are keeping us safe, but, after 9/1n our watch. we are using that excuse to kill people in iraq.
i never believed the government. i believe the republicans are evil people. host: a couple of beavers have made the connection of using the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to go into iraq. guest: when we go back and look at the information that is now more available than ever before -- we had afghanistan and iraq. afghanistan, clearly we know weapons of mass destruction did not exist. in afghanistan, we had a great struggle there. we had just over 4000 alaskan troops come back. we had a total of 9000 in january last year. it is time to move out of there. this is the challenge we have and we have an incident occurred, and then people want to find someone. in this case, we knew that
afghanistan was becoming a haven for al qaeda. we came in there pretty hard and did some damage to disperse them, but now we are stuck there. we have to figure out how to get out of there in the next few years. we knew there was movement happening in yemen, and we have had great movement, but we have had to put troops on the ground. host: and then there are drone attacks. guest: technology is much stronger than before. i know i will get some calls from my hardcore democratic friends who will say, how dare you. but when you are engaged in a war -- things are different today. it is not like world war ii were you slam the beaches. what we do in yemen, yes, there will be some civilian casualties. that is what we end up and we
are fighting these wars, but because of these attacks, we have been able to limit them. and we do not have 100,000 troops in yemen. to me, that is an incredible effort. i know there is a debate on drones. host: and then the report that al qaeda's no. 2 was taken out in yemen. guest: with a drone attack. we did that have to sacrifice young men and women fighting the battle for us. like i said, i know my core staff right now is sweating bullets because they are or to get a lot of calls. but we have to make some tough choices. when you are in more, you have to make tough choices. there will be casualties. the question is, can you limit the casualties? in this case, very limited. i have seen the cautions they take in very high level confidential analysis when they
use drones. afternot just, let's go them today. it is a process they go through that is very systematic, very carefully analyzed, to determine the lowest casualty rate as possible to get the target. host: who is involved in that process? guest: every military element. military cia, everybody. host: who gives the order? guest: all i can say is it is a proprocess. there are certain things that you cannot say. host: lizsmith wants to know this about you. guest: i was one of the individual that had to go to the cia to verify that it was bin
laden. there was a group of us that were identified to do that, to go over there and see the photos, the confidential information, not for my own purpose, but to be there as a their fire. -- verifier. people want to know, but you do not need to go into great detail. that is important for the security of our personnel when they engage in these kinds of missions. i am a little nervous about the book because we have to withhold some information in order to be successful in these times of raids and missions. i recognize someone to tell the story, but sometimes you cannot. that is why you are put in these positions, may be a navy seal, lots in the cia, who are not allowed to talk about anything they do. that is the obligation they
take. i am very concerned, and i know the military is concerned. it puts at risk potential mission we may have. some information is necessary so the public feels confident that the decisions were made with information, not just emotion, but let's not go too far. as a mayor, even though it is smaller, we had a police force. there were certain times were you could not disclose all the details in order to have a successful mission. in the military, the stakes are much higher. host: how were you chosen, what was that like? guest: i am a member of the armed services committee, and i do not know how the final decision was made, but they asked me, and i said i would be happy to. it was somewhat surreal going over there. you go into the building where the cia is, you go through
multiple doors. unbelievable security. then you go into a small room and then they have the information, photo after photo. a lot of other data that you can compare. it was very surreal and unbelievable. host: did you have any doubt before you went in the room that we have got him? guest: not really. privilege to some information. some of the decisions that were made were very smart. no disrespect to the media, but after that, the story was over. we did not spend three months talking about it. we got him, and he is dead, it is over. now we are going to continue to attack al qaeda wherever they are. now we are seeing results in yemen. host: michael is an independent.
caller: thanks for c-span. i would like to say, the patriot act is anything but patriotic. i wish you guys would get rid of that. it is taking our rights away. these drones, there are actually these commercials trying to sell them to the police, the department of natural resources. we are going to have drones flying above us soon. and what about that nsa building in utah? the main operating costs is to keep the computers keeping all this information. i would like to hear your comments about that. you say you are against some of the patriot act standings. said 11 pushed all that stuff through that has taken our rights away. -- senator levin pushed all that
stuff through that has taken our rights away. guest: i think there is a lot to say about that. we have to be careful about how far we go. we have to have a process. what has made this country what it is, what makes it great, we have a process. sometimes we complain about it, sometimes we argue about its, but it makes this country what it is today. in the case of the patriot act, it will have a tough time coming through, fisa is the same thing. this is a good question about drones and where we go. we embedded into the armed services, the defense authorization act, and we also have faa reauthorization. the faa has to go through a process to determine how these unmanned aircraft may or may not be used. none of that is really written
out, and that makes some people nervous. who is going to be flying them? for example, in alaska, the coast kurt would like to use them for search and rescue, -- coast guard would like to use them for search and rescue, which makes sense. it is tough waters out there. utilizing these would make sense. but we have to be very careful about this. what we have sent to the faa and to the pentagon, let us test this debate and discussion in alaska. we cherish our ability to have privacy. i guarantee you, if you survive the alaska privacy rights issues, your policy is probably ok. if not, if you have issues around privacy, come to alaska. we will tell you what privacy is. host: a view on twitter --
guest: we declared war on al qaeda. that is why we are there. i figure that would happen. maybe that helps the ratings for c-span. if i can help that, i will do that. we are not declaring war on yemen. the yemen government is leading the effort. we are supporting their efforts. months ago, in yemen was not a proactive in this arena until al qaeda started attacking their own people. they realized this is not a u.s. issue. this is a group of people try to find a safe haven in any country that they can take a portion of. the yemen government decided to take action. we are now supporting and have been supporting those efforts. to the caller, we are not declaring war on yemen. if you are part of al qaeda and you are going to do harm to the
united states, we are going to come get you. you may not like that statement, but to be frank, the wars of yesterday do not exist today. my son just received a huge book about the history of the world. he asked me a question about when pearl harbor was the other day. it is interesting because that is so foreign to what their idea of wars are, compared to what we have today. host: barbara is a republican caller from east point, michigan. caller: you are not only a center that i happen to respect. i lean republican. -- senator that i happen to respect. there were times when i started to lean democrat because everything ever gets in the bush administration, obama tripled.
homeland security, and they bought over 1 billion hollow point bullets. what are they getting ready for, a white al qaeda in america? that is my question. please answer. guest: i was not here during the bush years. i criticize whoever, democrat or republican. i have now heard this issue twice today about the bullets. i will start asking some questions. it is a good issue. we overreact sometimes, in a sense, in what we do as government. there was a big issue in louisiana with katrina. everyone was responding. what we did in anchorage -- everyone wanted their own facilities, food storage in
everyone's home. we worked out an agreement with some of the larger retailers like office depot, home depot, to be our storehouse. why would we recreate something if we can partner with the private sector? this issue on the bullets, i do not know the answer to it. i will tell you, it goes back to my earlier comment, we do not do enough oversight and we have to ask questions. host: i have to ask you about these talks of sequestration. guest: i was wondering when you get to that. host: in "politico," hill leaders and aides not even negotiating at the scene. guest: every story is a new story appeared that one is printed, so it is probably old
news in this town. the problem is -- i will say this. in order to solve this fiscal issue -- and i've had to do it as mayor -- you need three components. have to do with revenue, you have to have cuts, and you have to invest in energy and infrastructure. what we have right now is hyperventilating political environment. people doing one-liner bumper stickers. i think there is some discussion, but to get down this path, people have to make some decisions. their phone line will be lit up of people saying, do not touch this. the reality is, it will not be fun, but if we do not do it, going over the cliff and finding out there is no water at the bottom either will be even worse. host: so you are ok with some military cuts? guest: i have even proposed some.
we are buying some equipment that we do not even use. there is a system that costs $400 million and the house has taken it out, the armed services committee has taken it out, we have been successful the past two years. the only people that put it back in is the appropriators on the senate side because they have somebody making money in one state. it is a useless program. if we did not cut it two years ago, it would have been $800 million. in our state, we are strong on military, but we are not going to waste money. agency after agency i have proposed taking some money out, and i have also proposed revenues. it is a combination. this idea that we are going to cut our way out, you are dreaming. host: we are out of time.
thank you for being back at the table. coming up next, texas congressman mac thornberry, republican. we will get homeland security issues with him as well. juan zarate will also be here in the last hour to discuss the status of al qaeda. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> with the anniversary of the september 11 attacks, the focus of today, here are some other headlines. the president of chicago school board says he thinks an agreement to settle the city's teacher strike could be reached today. however, the teachers union president is less optimistic, saying the district has not changed its offer is on the two most contentious issues. performance evaluations and recall rights for laid-off teachers. investors are reacting cautiously to comments by spain's prime minister that he will not accept certain
conditions in return for a european central bank proposal to buy spanish government bonds. the prime minister did not specify what lines he would not cross, but did say he does not want to cut spanish pension benefits. finally, on today's economic calendar here at home, the commerce department will release figures on july's international trade. analysts are looking for the nation's trade gap to widen to about $44 billion. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> watch and in gage with c- span, as our campaign coverage continues toward election day and the candidate prepared to face off in 390-minute october debates. domestic policy is the first focus. tuesday, the 16, the candidates will take audience questions in a town hall meeting from hofstra university. the final debate, monday the 22nd, questions will ship to
foreign policy from lynn university in florida. and what the vice presidential debates from center college on october 11. we will also cover key house and senate races, looking at the control of congress. paul our coverage on c-span, c- span radio, and online at c- span.org. host: a live shot of the white house, the white house staff out there. the president and first lady michelle obama will be coming out for a moment of silence this morning around 8:45, when the first tower was struck 11 years ago, as we look back at the 9/11 attacks. here with us at the table is congressmember mac thornberry, a member of the intelligence committee, armed services committee. i know one area that you focus on is cybersecurity.
with the president announcing this new executive on that issue, are we safe, when it comes to the potential cyber attack? guest: no, and i have not seen the executive order that is apparently circulating. we are not safe. at the same time, we do not need to be hysterical about it, but we have to be realistic. it affects our national security, economic security, and there are a series of steps we can take, and the house passed four back in may. so i'm hopeful that some time and the end of the year, that the senate will at least take of what the house has done. if they can improve it, great. but at least begin to make progress in making our country safer in cyberspace. host: why is that a big deal, why should the people, why should the government pay attention to this area? surroundst: cyber
everything in our country now. when you fill up at the pump, you are in cyberspace. it is not just the computers at home. electricity, all the infrastructure around us is connected in some way to cyberspace. when you are so dependent on cyberspace, we are also vulnerable to potential impact, by nation states, by criminals that try to get your bank account information, social security number, but also by terrorists. we know that terrorists are actively looking and vulnerabilities so that they can attack us through cyberspace. again, it does not mean we overreact. most of cyberspace is owned by the private sector, not by government. so interaction between government and the private sector is very delicate. we have to get that right. that is part of the reason why, in the house, we think we should
take this step by step. host: what kind of damage are we talking about? guest: your imagination is the limit. if somebody starts to manipulate the stock market, it is hard to imagine the consequences. i will say, every single day, an incredible amount of wealth, intellectual property is stolen from computer systems in the united states. former director of the cia says it is the greatest transfer of wealth in the world history, these folks who come in and steal plans for a new fighter, plans for a new product, formula, as well as personal information. that is why it affects our economy and our personal well- being, as well as the country's well-being and infrastructure. host: as a member of the intelligence committee, where are we vulnerable, besides cybersecurity?
guest: 2 certain extent, we are vulnerable in other areas, and that is what the terrorist keep doing, they probe for weak spots. the continue to look for ways to hide bombs and lot numbers of people. they continue to look for ways to take and use chemical, biological, or in their dreams, even nuclear weapons. so that takes us back to a lot of the events happening in the world right now. concern about syria's chemical weapons. keeping them out of terrorist's hands. we know that if they can get their hands on them, they will use them. you were talking about vastly greater numbers of people that would be affected by an attack like that. host: the status of al qaeda today?
guest: it has changed. certainly, in the core region, they have been diminished, they have been under assault for a decade. they are not like anything as they were. at the same time, it is like a video game where you hit the big spider and five small spiders take its place. so al qaeda in yemen is there. there are al-qaeda franchises in the western area, al-shabab, some concern about what is happening in the sinai. you have some smaller entities affiliated, if you will, but they are spread out in more places. the point is, the incredible work that our military intelligence professionals and law enforcement folks have done over the past 11 years, it does not end. this is a perfect day to take a moment and thank them and be
grateful for all the more they have done to keep us safe, largely, over the last 11 years, but also to understand the threats have not gone away. we have to continue to allow them to keep us safe. host: and be grateful for does president obaa deserve credit for what some of his critics have said, falling bush's strategy on fighting the war on terror, fighting a al qaeda? guest: he deserves credit for continuing to do what works, keeping pressure on the core al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan, which has been successful. some of the other techniques used to run the world have been successful. i think it is a different thing. not knowing this personally -- but when you step into the oval office and you have responsibility for keeping the american people safe, some of the things you may have said on the campaign trail may presidena deserve have to fade away. i have disagreement with a variety of things this
administration has done in this area, but i think the areas that they have continued, despite campaign promises, has been helpful. host: this is a recent headline in "the washington post." what is the haqqani network? guest: this is an area near pakistan and afghanistan. they are some of the most deadly fighters. they are responsible for some of the most deadly attacks against our troops and others in afghanistan. but they are somewhat separate but connected, indeed, with al qaeda. this would help to reduce their funds when they are designated as a terrorist organization, less likely than others will
have interaction with them, it makes it easier to target them. host: so the rules of engagement change when they become a terrorist group? guest: somewhat, but especially the other sorts of diplomatic and economic pressures we can use, and that we can encourage others to use. the designation is just a confirmation of the facts on the ground. the fact is, they are responsible for some of the most deadly attacks in the afghan- pakistan region. it is important to call them what they are. host: mark is an independent. san antonio, texas. caller: first of all, i want to say happy anniversary to my wife. i understand we are using yet states troops on the borders for surveillance and support for law enforcement agencies. how does that affect --
guest: if i could also take a moment to wish my nieces and happy birthday. we have struggled with this issue as a country, especially since 9/11. what is the corporate role of the military in helping to safeguard our borders? what we have generally done is use card and reserve forces, and use them in backup and support positions. they have not been patrolling the border with guns on their hips. that has been left to law- enforcement. certainly, that is the traditional differentiation of responsibility that we have had in this country. at the same time, we have to keep our eyes open and our minds alert to a potential increase in danger coming especially on the southern border, with the drug cartels, and others.
for example, iran was trying to recruit drug cartels to conduct assassinations here in the united states. it may elevate to a point where we need a greater degree of military involvement, but certainly, the more we can provide resources to mexico and have enough border patrol people, by the way -- and i have a bone to pick with the border patrol, as they are closing offices across texas and other places. the point is, putting enough law enforcement resources on the border backed up with military technology and support, i think, is the appropriate role. host: richmond, virginia. james is a democratic caller. caller: i was wondering what homeland security is doing about white supremacists,
domestic terrorism? timothy mcveigh was one of the worst right-wing terrorists, and you guys never mentioned him. it is amazing. guest: actually, i think he gets mentioned a lot, partly, as an example of what one individual can do, and the of the destruction and death that he can create. that is, however, more of a law enforcement, fbi, justice department job to investigate those domestic terrorism acts. homeland security is more responsible for guarding our borders, people coming by air and water, as well as coordination with local law enforcement. they have some law enforcement responsibilities, but if you are talking about investigating a group -- host: i am going to jump in because we have to go to the white house. they are going to have a
the president and first lady. you heard the bells rang at 8:46 eastern time, the time when the north tower was struck by the airplane 11 years ago, september 11, 2001. nearly 2000 americans died that day in the attacks on the world trade center and at the pentagon here in washington. our cameras are in new york for the world trade center memorial service today. also on the screen you can see the pentagon. our cameras are there as well. we will bring you coverage of the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies in washington and new york today. c-span.org for more details on that. at the table is congressman republican mac thornberry, member of the intelligence and armed services committee. we are having a discussion about where we are at, 11 years later. guest: seeing that takes me back
to that day. host: where were you? guest: was having breakfast with secretary rumsfeld and a few others. i remember very well receiving a note that sent an airplane headed the world trade center. we decided that we needed to get out of there. there were things he needed to do. i drove back across the bridge to the capitol when the second plane hit. i got to my office just when the capitol police were saying, get out, there is another one coming for us. as a lot of people in washington remember, people poured out into the streets. i also remember finally turning into our little cul-de-sac, once i collected my children, and every house had an american flag flying that afternoon. today it is important to remember the victims, absolutely. it is also a day to remember the
courage of those people on the plane in pennsylvania who decided they would not be helpless victims, and took matters into their own hands, and then the courage and sacrifice of all the military, intelligence professionals, law enforcement, who stopped countless numbers of attacks in the 11 years since. sometimes we have been lucky. the bomb in new york did not work right. the underwear bomber, it did not work right. but a lot of times, they were really good. we ought to be grateful to them. host: we should mention former massachusetts governor mitt romney will be in reno, nev. today, talking to the national guard at their annual conference. he has put out a statement as well about the september 11 attacks, calling for a remembered today. live coverage on c-span 3 of governor romney. keith is a republican in san
diego. caller: good morning. i understand our state department, through a back door funding, is now funding al-qaeda and syria. could you comment on that please? guest: i do not think so. i do not believe that any u.s. tax dollars are at least, intentionally, going to fund any affiliate of al qaeda or terrorists who wish to do us harm. you cannot say that no dollar through some of roundabout way does not get into the wrong hands, of course, but i do not think that is true. host: holyoke, massachusetts. gabrielle. ok, we have to move on. tony. new orleans. democratic caller. caller: i would like to first
thank the congressmember for his service. i am a veteran myself. i was one of the first to deploy to afghanistan during the 2001. my question is specifically this. you said you disagreed with some of the things that president obama has done on the terrorist side. i wanted you to expand on that. he has had some tremendous successes in his four years, with the killing of osama bin laden, taking down other large al qaeda leaders. i wanted to know what, specifically, you disagreed with that he did on his watch? guest: thank you for your service. again, generally, i think there is the things that president way too much credit at politicians try to take for our successes. a lot of the successes that we have had in the last 11 years
are because of people like you, and the people that support you , as about law-enforcement and others. this is a day to keep that in mind. a number of things i disagree with. for example, everything we have been through about closing guantanamo, saying we would try some of those people in new york city and so forth. that has caused so much delay. we still have not been able to try ksm. that whole thing has been a muddled mess and has not been helpful to national-security. i think it was a mistake to put a specific date. we are going to be out of afghanistan on a particular date. i know governor romney generally agrees with that, but i think that is a mistake. it tells your enemies how credig they have to wait. i think it was a tremendous mistake to continue to investigate some of our intelligence professionals, after they had been investigated thoroughly by everybody that you
could imagine, and it is only in the past couple of weeks or so that they finally said, there is nothing there. there are three examples. at the same time, as you point out, where he has continued the things that were, he should be given credit for that. host: matt on twitter wants to know, are we safer now that al qaeda has been decimated, from the top down? guest: we are safer as a country. largely, because we are more alert, better organized, and better prepared. certainly, hawkeye at the top is not anything like it was, -- al qaeda at the top is not anything like it was, but there are problems with having these little al qaeda affiliate's around the world. they are innovative. the greatest threats we have seen are coming from yemen. it is like one of those things, you have to keep a bopping it on the head, wherever it keeps
arising. host: some believe it was a mistake for governor wrong in not mentioning the troops in his except speech. your reaction? guest: i do not buy that. the day before he gave a major address to the american legion where he focused on nothing but our troops and national security. he did mention the importance of troops in the speech. a speech is not the whole campaign. he fully understands the importance of our military, intelligence professionals keeping us safe. host: sid is a democrat and florida. caller: i wanted to ask your guest why we are not even tougher than we are? these people are murderers. i cannot understand people objecting to dealing with these people.
that is my question. guest: and i understand, particularly on a day like this, when we remember the 3000 people killed by these folks -- the senator was talking about this in the previous segment. the challenge is, we have to take steps to keep americans reasonably safe without losing the essential pre nature of our society. the truth is, we have been pretty messy in sorting out the appropriate path to do that over the last 11 years. we go too far one way, then the other. but we are navigating our way through it. i understand what you are saying, it is an imperfect science. the only thing i would add -- we talked briefly about cybersecurity. it is important also not to wait until you are attacked to react. one of the lessons of 9/11 is we should have done more to help
prevent it, to be alert, collect information on these folks, before the attack. so taking action ahead of time to prevent something is a lot better than trying to come back and retaliate after the fact. i think we are dealing with another example of that kind of situation in cyberspace right now. host: on reauthorizing fisa, a law that allows u.s. agencies to conduct physical and electronic sip -- surveillance. senator begich believes that would have trouble. what about in the house? do you have any reservations? guest: of course. we are talking about the fisa amendments act. when it passed in 2008, the democrats controlled congress. it got about 300 votes in the house. the reauthorization past the intelligence committee 17-0.
the obama administration says, just renew it. it is working, do not play games with us. it is somewhat discouraging to me that we seem to be playing some games, when it has had such overwhelming bipartisan support in the past, as well as oversight, especially in the intelligence committees on the house and senate, that we cannot get that done. we are going to vote on it this week in the house. the question is what happens in the senate. i hope they do not play games with it. again, our intelligence and law enforcement professionals need these tools to continue to operate as they have, at least since 2008, to help keep us safe. host: it has the votes in the house? guest: absolutely. host: we are going back to
gabrielle in holyoke, massachusetts. caller: a system that is connected, private business, government, security companies, what we're doing is we are creating a weapon against citizens around the world to be monitored. we just lost habeas going back . we have the patriot act. and do not say that we are not protecting terrorists. aig was insuring ahmadinejad. do not sit here and at what you are tried to protect the country when you could not even get the criminals on wall street, let alone the bankers and got away with the money, and you have been raiding social security. what are you talking about? host: congressman? guest: there are a lot of rumors, e-mails going around. and i would encourage everybody to project the facts.
it's see if you can get some confirmation of some of the things that you have heard. for example, on the fisa amendment act that the house will vote on this week, there is a way that works and it is only targeted toward foreigners. to have any sort of surveillance against americans, you have to have a specific court order to do that and the judge has to be convinced that there is a reason to do that. we hear from both sides there are too many sweeping generalities based on misimpressions. and and that is not helpful in in finding the appropriate balance between security and freedom that we all want to have. hey someone on twitter says -- host: here is a comment on twitter that says where does the
constitution authorizes a secret court? guest: basically, other than the supreme court, all of the other federal courts are subject to congress. but we could do away with them, or we could create others. to deal with some of these typical challenges in national security where we used classified evidence and in addition, sometimes privacy issues come to the fore. and there is this independent branch of government, some judges to take time to understand these issues can provide independent oversight and authorization for what the various intelligence organizations do. i think it is working pretty well. host: another tweak for you. if republicans are concerned about security, that why is the house trying to dismantle the tsa? guest: there are a variety of
opinions about the tsa. i just had one of my colleagues last night real to me -- rail to me about the tsa experience trying to get to washington. they took the busiest time to train new people. he ended up missing his flight. it is irritating for all of us. we will have airport security and the difference of opinion over whether we can have contractors and save money over having contractors, there are many ways to look at it. most of us want an appropriate balance between security and nad invading too much our personal freedoms. the we are still working our way through that with the new technologies and procedures. host: next caller, you are on the air with max born very of
texas. thornberry of texas. caller: there are only two types of war, what is of the righteous against the wicked and the other is of the wicked and fighting the wicked. there were two reasons to have gone to war, one is the palestine attacks and the other is because he deceived us as a wicked nation. i would not call this current war as at the righteous going after the where kids. i would say this is the wicked is going after the wicked. guest: i think the war on terror is a struggle against
terrorists, people who kill innocent people indiscriminately to a advanced some agenda. i completely disagree with your second point, however. i think this is a struggle of the good, as imperfect as we are, against the wicked. i understand bin laden and others used in various justifications for what they do. i think that is primarily to motivate their troops. if one does not work, they will find another. but is a political agenda, if you will, to reconstruct the caliphate and to all of that. say, as anst got to elected representative of the people, the most hardened into me is the essential goodness of our people. -- the most heartening thing to me is the essential good of our people.
we have a lot to work on, i understand, but the essential goodness of the american people continues. host: will go to california next, a very early morning there. republican line. caller: i have a question about the military. obama wants to minimize troops. i am a u.s. army vet and i made my decision in 2001 on september 11 to join the military when i was 14. and when i was old enough i joined the military. and now i'm a disabled vet. i do not want to be a veteran. i want to be doing my part. but i'm still prevented. i'm just hoping for somebody to
strengthen our military troops, and set of weakening them. -- instead of weakening them. guest: first, thank you for your service. it is amazing how many people one runs into made the decision 11 years ago today to enter the military and then have served our country in incredible ways. i continue to your stories about that, and that is further evidence of the goodness of the american people i share your concerns about reducing begala, number of troops in our military. that is part of what is at stake in all of this budget sequestration debate that we are having in washington right now. not to get off into the campaign to much, but i think you see
some difference of opinion offered by the candidates. the bigger point is that it is still a dangerous world. we have to get and keep top quality folks in our military in order to keep us safe, as well as in our intelligence agencies and law enforcement. q host: is a tweet from gregory on twitter. why not use a quick response teams to intercede and drones to watch illegal crossing activities? , guest: i think we are using a diversity of means. i think we are using them as well as other technologies to better patrol our border. i think that will be key to keeping a safe not only on our southern border, but our northern border, too, which is just gigantic. and where we do not have very
many people. and as well as our coastlines. i think technology will be key for that. host: that is the discussion this morning before in the homeland security subcommittee at 10:00 a.m. this morning. c-span.org, more details there about our coverage of that hearing this morning looking at the security. what is your take on that? guest: we think about people sneaking across the border. i believe all of the 9/11 hijackers' enter the country through airplanes. many of them have legitimate visas. a good percentage of the people in this country illegally entered illegally and then stayed beyond their visa.
-- they entered legally and then stayed beyond their visas. we need to be sure that when there be sex buyers that they leave the country. that is part of the interior security enforcement. if groups try to use mexican drug cartels to attack, those sorts of things will be increasingly important. josh on thego to like for democrats precaution -- for democrats. caller: dick cheney has made more money on this as a sole service contractor. also, the bush family was in bed with the bin laden family. and if you reinstated the draft, then people like yourself would not be so quick to play these
playing games and not go to war as often as you does. host: congressman? guest: lots of selling is there. the point that we should all agree with there is that we do not to use our troops or others lightly. it puts their lives at risk. and today, i think is important to remember the families who have blossomed -- who not only have lost the victims of 9/11, but the military who have sacrificed their lives because of that until this day. host: shirley, a republican in the texas. caller: you are my representative and i have spoken to you personally on this.
why are we allowing the satellite offices of the border patrol to be closed in texas? right here where i live, i 20 goes across. you can get off the freeway on i-20 and go north on a 277 and go anywhere you want to in this country and probably not see a department public safety officer. we have been screaming for years and years for our borders to be controlled. we do not want to have this tsunami of people coming across our borders. congress absolutely refuses to to guard our southern border. congress host: index -- host: congressman? guest: that is not true. it has been congress trying to bridge but the bush can't --
pushed both the bush and obama administration's to do more. i n and -- by and a number of other congressmen have been dealing with this issue of trying to close nine border offices. as she was saying, there's a tremendous amount of traffic on our interstates going east and west. and in order to have this interior enforcement that we need, there has to be some sort of federal presence. economy a local sheriff -- a local sheriff find someone going down a highway with drugs or something illegal, what do they do with them? if the local border patrol offices several hundred miles away, that is a real problem.
this is one of the issues that we are working on. host: alex, democratic caller in springfield, massachusetts. caller: good morning, mr. congressman. host: good morning, we are listening to you. caller: i have been listening to you all morning and you are not giving the president no problem at all. republicans and george bush dropped the ball on 9/11. obama -- under obama they killed osama bin laden and took on all of these other leaders. you are not giving him no props. think you've been listening to what i said. i said i think he deserves credit for continuing the policies that have worked.
and to take the osama bin laden examples of a plea, i think the president does deserve credit for issuing the order to go. and i think even greater credit belongs to those intelligence professionals that worked for years to find the leads that ultimately led to bin laden, including the people who went down then ends -- a dead end and find out where he was not. the bulk of the credit goes to those who carried out the mission, the professionalism of the special operations forces who carried it out is just incredible. there is too much -- but there are too many politicians trying to take the credit for what our law enforcement folks to do every day. but i agree completely, the president deserves credit for giving the order to go.
host: in tennessee, arnold, democratic caller. caller: good morning, how are you? host: i'm just fine. go ahead with robert question for the congressman. caller: tonight they are having a pbs special and it is called "the question of god" on frontline. the subject is where was god on september 11. i would like to get your thoughts on faith and god and everything. and i would like to invite you to go to a website that by how -- that i have. it is godislove.org and there is a book that i wrote called "divine intervention." actually, i claim that i co- wrote this book with god. if you have any thoughts about it, where was god on 9/11?
guest: i believe that god was with the victims and with all of us on 9/11. that does not mean we understand why he allowed it to happen anymore than we understand why he allowed the holocaust to happen. but through tragedy and through incredible evil god can still work good. that is my personal belief. i appreciate your plugging the book. maybe you'll get some buyers. host: next call is michael. from washington d.c.. caller: we are having politicians politicize intelligence. that is very dangerous. host: do you have an example, michael? when caller: there is a republican or a democrat talking about -- host: -- caller:
whether it is a republican or democrat talking about issues that exploit. and for example, look at what has happened in third world countries. we have seen intelligence agencies as saying that they have been able to take over traditional committees and social justice as a whole. that is very dangerous because they could interfere in the lives of americans on the home front. host: congressman? i will leave it there, michael. guest: i do not know that i fully understand the point, but there is robust oversight in congress of the intelligence organizations. and not just the intelligence committee, but be all set -- but also the armed services committee and others. we are unique in the world in having this independent oversight in into -- over
intelligence organizations by a separate branch of government. it is one of our strength and it is important to do. host: he started talking about leaking information. i want to get your take on this new book by the navy seal. do you think it jeopardize as the field work? guest: yes, i think it does and it adds to a culture of talking about their tactics, what they do, and that is what -- that is very disturbing. host: have you read the book? guest: i have not. i saw the interview on television with that navy seal. and i think he did a good job. and i know other seals. in general, whether it is coming from the white house or from individual members of the military, there is way too much talk about how we do things and what happens. that makes the job of future missions much harder. it needs to stop. host: the tapes and the other
data that was captured from the osama bin laden compound, is it still benefiting the u.s.? are we still getting intelligence from it? guest: as he indicated, there is a tremendous amount of material. i think the bulk of it has been received. as time passes, anything you capture becomes less relevant years down road. but no question it was a tremendous benefit. host: thank you for your time, congressman. we will round out the hour talking to juan zarate about the state of counter-terrorism. but first, a news update from c- span radio. >> with the anniversary of the september 11 attacks the focus today, here are the headlights. the u.s. trade deficit g slowly in july as at a faster pace than imports.
the deficit widened to $42 billion. that is two tenths of a percent higher than the june imbalance of $41.9 billion. the u.s. atomic agency now has new intelligence that iran has -- the international atomic agency now has new intelligence that iran has advanced its steps toward developing it nuclear warhead. the information came from the u.s., israel, and at least one other country. iran denies it is working on a nuclear arms. and finally, the mayor of trenton, new jersey, tony mack, has been released on bail after being charged in a conspiracy in a fake land development deal. his brother and a supporter are also support -- facing charges. they are charged with using a government informant to try to bribe merrimac. -- mayor mack.
>> up until the battle of antietam, the confederates were on a roll. because expectations in the south, even in the north and abroad, was that generally -- general lee would win, that the third time would be the charm. he had won in the battle of bull run and now was invading the north and this was going to be the crushing blow. when that did not have but i think there was a great sigh of relief in the north. lincoln does take it as the sign he had been waiting for. it does transform the nature of this war and making it a war for freedom as well as unions. it before all of these reasons i think antietam stand as the most important turning point in the war. >> this weekend on the -- on
american history tv, the 150th anniversary of the civil war. it would take your questions on the battle and repercussions on the simplest bloodiest day of battle in american history. that is sunday beginning at noon p.m. -- at noon until 8:03 p.m. eastern. host: this is a live picture of the pentagon ceremonies began this morning at about 9:00 a.m. eastern time. the president should be there to give remarks. and you can see the vice president there as well as members of his cabinet. we also have coverage of the memorial service on c-span 3.
our cameras will cover the moment of silence as they gather at the capitol steps. juan zarate, the former national deputy security advisor is our guest. we are talking about 9/11 11 years ago. where were you that day? in the bush administration? guest: i was in the bush administration. i was in the justice department and about three weeks before that and -- had been switched to a different apartment and was working on money laundering operations. i was watching on the tv that day, horrified. my office based south and i could to the smoke rising from the pentagon. we were evacuated.
i went with senior treasury leadership by the time -- at the time to secret service headquarters. and i remember much like a view like this at wondering whether or not the next plane was going to come hit the capital. it was a dramatic day. my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims. host: and your job change that day. guest: absolutely. i have been working prosecution cases by shifted -- and i had shifted to looking at generally, money laundering to issues. everything changed dramatically. president bush said we would use every element of national power. we would go after those bankers who funded al qaeda. that became the treasury's mission. i was part of that campaign to
doctor who financed terrorist financing. host: what was the first thing you did? guest: the first thing people how to get their arms around was what was the problem. we forget how little the government knew about al qaeda and their capabilities. kowt was privileged to be in some of these prosecutorial things that looked at these -- i was privileged to be on some of these prosecutorial team that looked at these things. we had to figure out what the enemy was capable of, what it looks like, and then figure out the tools that we had to bring to bear to affect the problem. we started to freeze assets. we use the president's executive powers to do that. we used intelligence efforts to get after financial intelligence. we used law-enforcement to go after support to terrorist groups. we developed a new regulation. the patriot act title 3 is
focused on the money laundering and expanding the due diligence roles for the banking community and insurance community, etc. there was sweeping evidence -- sweeping activity to deal with the evidence in the world around us. host: the president will be in pennsylvania to remember the victims there and the plane that went down in pennsylvania. 11 years later, juan zarate, what is the state of al qaeda? guest: part of that answer depends on how you define al qaeda. the core that we found in 2001 as a show of its former self. it is decimated. we have spent the last decade destroying its core leadership and its support network. the core leadership is diminished. that is why when you hear secretary panetta talk about it, the administration talk about
the strategic defeat of al qaeda, that is really what they are talking about. the old al qaeda that we once knew is really on its last legs. the problem is, the al qaeda movement of 2012 is very different from 2001. it has metastasized. you have groups in yemen, somalia, north africa that have gained some momentum and are starting to in some ways look like insert -- insurgencies. in yemen, they all -- they controlled towns. in somalia, they control parts of the valley. it is very different from 2001, but still represents a threat. which is white administration officials are very cautious about declaring the ultimate victory because the black banners of al qaeda still rise in parts of the world. host: let me show you a video clip shortly after mr. panetta took over. he said that the defeat of al qaeda was within reach.
guest: yes, and what he was talking about is that the core of al qaeda that once knew, the organization that drove the sunni extremists violent terrorist group that we have confronted is largely on its last and what it -- last leg. and you saw that in the abbottabad documents and when we conducted the raid on a osama bin laden. yet started use -- he had started to lose control of the group. and it was so diminished that he was thinking about changing the very name of the organization. he had a list of all seven innings, which were all clunky, by the way, but -- he had a list of separate names, which for all all clunky, by the way. and then you have another group that sponsored the attempted attack in times square.
most people think that is al qaeda, but it was the pakistani taliban. >> is -- host: is that the haqqani? guest: there are a number of affiliates and groups and drives that form part of those networks. you mention the haqqani network. that is one of the u.s. has now designated as an official foreign terrorist organization and one poses a major threat to stability in afghanistan and is behind many lethal attacks against our troops and afghan security forces. host: there is the president arriving for the memorial service there. just beyond those trees there will be the laying of the wreath with the president and first lady. we can bring you a little bit of that as we continue our discussion. there is the president and first lady with the wreath there. and secretary leon panetta as
well. juan zarate, talking about the state of al qaeda here today, are they winning still are they losing? guest: there is no question that they are losing. they have lost not only the core elements of their ability to drive this global enterprise, but the brand itself and the ideology has lost credibility. what is important is that it has lost credibility in heart of theirs -- their constituency. al qaeda sees itself as a vanguard of a broader movement on behalf of all muslims. the reality is, when confronted with the reality of al qaeda, sunni tribes and communities have actually rejected al qaeda. you started in iraq during the surge. that was significant because you have a physical and ideological
rejection of al qaeda in the heart of this constituency. you are seeing it in other places as well. you're seeing it in these series of debates with al qaeda-like figures and others coming from iraq and starting to confront some of the other opposition in syria. what you will see in the coming years, i think, is a battle between -- within islam between muslims. we have talked about this before, but it is really coming to the fore, the reality that muslim communities are having to confront these groups in their own environment. host: is america still the target? guest: yes no. -- yes and no. it was always bin laden's vision to attack a foreign enemy. that was a strategic vision in the 1990's, along with ayman al- zawahiri. their goal was to go after the
problems to deal with the issue s with these regimes that we worry about. you cannot fight the local. you got to fight before an enemy. that is what has driven al qaeda's corr ever since it formed its mission in the mid- 1990s. with the death of bin laden and the diminishment of the court, and the reality that regional groups have to worry about their own surprise -- own survival regionally, that makes the u.s. less of a goal. but it is still a focus as these groups are more focused on their own well-being. host: yesterday we get the news, yemen attack, drawn attack in yemen -- a drone attack in yemen killed al qaeda as no. 2. it is hard to keep up. who is the head of al qaeda? guest: the confusion is understandable because you have
a movement that has metastasized. you have franchises of al qaeda. the no. 2 in yemen being killed, it is that branch's #2 that has been killed. you will not kill your way out of this problem. you need to diminish this court leadership. doing that in afghanistan and pakistan has been strategically effective. the reality is that you have these regional groups that are operating, some of which are gaining momentum, like the vocal harem movement in northern nigeria. -- boko haram movement in northern nigeria. host: juan zarate is our guest. the state of al qaeda is our discussion this morning. the phone numbers are on your screen.
we want to hear from all of you as we get your thoughts on this as we remarked -- as we mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. where are we vulnerable? guest: if you listen to counter- terrorism specialists -- specialists today, there are two vulnerabilities. one is the regional groups, like the one i talked about in yemen. they find ways to get the united states. they tried with the underwear bomber. they have tried with a couple of creative package plot. there is a danger that one of these affiliate's, particularly the one in yemen who has a master bomb maker and still has the al qaeda dna in it attacking the united states. officials are worried about that. the second thing that they are worried about is something
called a return to a lone wolf, those individuals who are inspired to by the ideology of al qaeda to kill citizens. u.s.c. in those cases. the fbi has worked very well to disrupt -- you have seen those cases. if the fbi has worked for a while to disrupt them. faisal shahzad, the times square bomber, he was not on anybody's radar screen when he emerged that day when his it -- with his attempted car bomb. we've got to be concerned. we have individuals who can go abroad and be trained, or be trained over the internet themselves. host: at the beginning of the month, the u.s. as a bid the haqqani network as a terrorist group. what is the threat? guest: this is a group that has not only amplified the efforts of al qaeda in the pakistan and northern africa region, but it has been responsible for the
worst attacks in afghanistan. there have been attacking u.s. and coalition troops and afghani route for goods and services. the haqqani network forms part of a network that the pakistani intelligence services in some ways relies on and keeps in contact with to be able to influence what happens in afghanistan. this is one of the major thorns in the side of the relationship between the u.s. and pakistan. from the u.s. perspective, this is a naimey group. from the pakistani perspective, this is a group -- this is an enemy group. kurram the pakistani perspective, this is a group to be dealt with and to manage. from my perspective, this forces the debate out into the open. whether or not you start to consider pakistan a state
sponsor of terror. if the haqqani network is a foreign terrorist organization and if a nation state is supporting the group the way iran supports hezbollah or the hamas movement and palestinian geoid, then perhaps pakistan should be so designated. that debate will emerge in light of this designation. host: and there is a senator said that what this also might do is increase the money flow into the economy network. guest: that is right. many behind-the-scenes wanted the effects of what it does as a terrorist organization. they wanted to have a legal barrier to doing any business with our having any contact with the haqqani have worked as an ally. they control a lot. they have a lot of money. the people of the pentagon and elsewhere wanted this designation so that now the treasury department, along with
the intelligence community can start to go after the economic notice of this movement to start strangling them from the outside while militarily they go after the leadership precaution host: how does the treasury -- after the leadership. host: how do we track the money? how does the treasury do that? guest: there has always been information about banking records provided to the government. there is always information that sources of the cia would get about financing. but there was an all-out effort to create a new capability to go after financial trails, to look for money trails through the banking system, the informal system, through banks and international cooperation to figure out where people are moving money, how they are using front companies and other agents. and then there is quiet diplomacy going to banks and financial institutions as saying, greta, do you know who
was doing business in your bank? let me show you. many at the treasury department has -- have done is masterfully. there are other tools as well. host: when you track the money, does that allow you to locate where these people are? guest: absolutely. that is another advantage of the financial trail. as we've often said, these financial trails do not lie. they lead you to wear the connectivity is, where the financial networks like, and perhaps were the leadership is. in the bush administration, there's always a trade-off. do you reveal something or keep to see whod track it else is involved? host: we have a caller on the republican line, james. caller: first, i want to start out by saying that i do not support terrorism or the
terrorists, but there is a truth that keeps getting swept under the rug. when george h. dobbie bush -- when george h. bush got a bottle -- fought the battle of iraq, he pushed troops in tucson area. bin laden some -- saudi arabia. bin laden set himself that they need to get rid of the american troops. he said they were infidels on their land piccata guest: this is a very good question. -- on their land. guest: this is a very good question. bear in mind, u.s. troops have come out of saudi arabia and al qaeda has continued to vote was on the u.s.
-- focus on the u.s. the war between russia and chechnya, whatever the war or the conflict, iraq or greater, they would use it to their a bandage. -- their advantage. you are right. they did use that to their a vantage. i do not think we give terrorists a hecklers veto over what we do cover on the world. i think we need to be sensitive about how our our actions impact the environment, but i do not think we give al qaeda or bin laden a veto over where we put our troops. host: next caller, go ahead. caller: i would like to ask your guest, -- he is overlooking the danger of what is law -- islam
calls peaceful jihad, which is taking place in our country right now. for example, they have enough influence to lead the effort to take god out of the democratic platform. it was obvious on the television as i watched that the muslims were in the lead one to take god out of the democratic platform. guest: i do not know what was going on with the platform, so i cannot speak to that. but you raise an interesting issue because one of the questions that has been front and center for the u.s., and certainly what i was in the white house, was the key question of how to affect the ideology behind al qaeda. it is not just a terrorist movement. they are trying to spawn an
ideology, a way of thinking about the world. the u.s. is the oppressor and al qaeda is the vanguard and defender of all muslims. you have seen that radical thought embedded in a lot of the radicalized cases of people we have seen trying to attack others. there is an interesting question of how to deal with that. i always thought it is important to keep in mind that a lot of those are ideological battles are handled best within muslim communities. the best counter to a and al qaeda offensive is a counter- offensive by muslims who have a grass-roots counter movement and are able to articulate theologically, ideologically, historically, y al qaeda's view of the world is not worthy of a 20% 3 community. whether it is a peaceful jihadist -- 21st century community. whether it is a peaceful
jihadist horne nodded. we should be proud of every american who last defended against al qaeda. host: here is a question for you. what matter is that americans use in order to assess progress in the al qaeda award? guest: that is a very good question. what are the metrics, to determine whether we are winning or not? al qaeda and its affiliates have the ability to have global reach. can they inspire individuals to attack abroad? do they have funding organization that allows them to attack united states in a way
that is strategically important? the soviet union looks to this battle as to whether or not they can bankrupt and leave the united states. can a bait and lead us into conflict? that is an important question in this, too. can they modulate their work such that outcry that is in its death throes, but in a way that we are not overreacting? host: next caller, independent line. caller: i think president obama has kept americans as ever than any president in the last 50 years. a moment ago, you were saying that george bridge contributor just as much in keeping a safe
as the obama administration, and that is false because during george bush's, administration there was also an anthrax attack or during 9/11. to say that he is a raid commander in chief and protector of americans here and abroad, it should be mentioned by the media and the talking heads on the shows. guest: i am happy to agree and disagree with you on this. no doubt, the obama administration has done great work on counter-terrorism. as soon as i left government, one of the things i argued in some of the speeches that i lectured is that you would see fundamental counter-terrorism policy. because it had evolved and because you have the same kinds of threats that the new president was going to have to face that the last president was going to read to face.
there has been continuity. to the credit of the obama administration, i think they have been very aggressive in going after al qaeda, not just in pakistan and afghanistan, but also in afghanistan and -- but also in somalia. and in pakistan. you can go back and look at the list of the plot's disrupted. the august, 2006 airlines plot, which would have been disastrous, outside of plotting to bring down 10 flights over the atlantic. that would have been disastrous. it was aborted because of the cooperation between the u.s. and british services. and the anthrax attack was not the al qaeda. host: next call a, north
carolina. caller: welcome back. do you want to make a birth announcement? host: thank you. it is due to be back. caller: leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the cia was beating george bush and neocons a lot of information about the pending threat of al qaeda and its leaders. they were all ignored because the bush administration was focused on a state enemy, as opposed to a non state actor. if this administration had not acknowledged this information as credible, we could have avoided 9/11. guest: it is a provocative and greenpeace, and i recommend folks read it. the one thing i would do is ask folks to put this in context and
also read the 9/11 commission report. what the camera -- the report concluded was that not only the bush administration, but the clinton administration before it, there was a failure of imagination there was a failure to see that a small group out in the hinterlands of afghanistan could actually attack the united states. in many ways, we were still caught in the framework of seeing our greatest national security threats coming from nation states. without a doubt. this speaks to the ability of not just al qaeda, but non state actors to present a real security risk. we had probably a decade that we did not take al qaeda as seriously as we showed up. there were times in the prior administration handed the clinton administration where we knew where bin laden was in the
decision was made not to go out to him. and we also did not respond, thankfully, to the terrorist attacks that were starting to emerge. there was no response from the u.s. government to the uss: attack. -- the cole attack. host: donna, a republican in new york city. caller: the guy just stole part of my thunder talking about the cole attack and we did not do anything about it. we, my? -- we might have. i was one of these angry americans that -- i'm just tired of this is the muslim for bombing us, kissed the muslim
for making it very hard for us to live our daily lives. hormuz -- the news media is scaring us to death. we're listening to you schering us to death. why don't we just take what we have now before they get it and turn it into a glass factory over there? it is well within our capability .o do so precautio and i think it is what is going to have to be because they are not going to stop. they have been doing this for 2000 years. host: juan zarate, what are your thoughts? guest: first audobon not scare anybody. there is no question we have -- first, i hope i'm not scare anybody. there's no question that we have gone on the offensive. there is debate on whether we have gone overboard. i do not think so.
there is the reality of threat, especially as we have disrupted plots. on this question of islam, i think one of the things that i am most proud of with the bush administration was the distinction between the threat posed by al qaeda and their adherents and the violence against -- extremists and islam itself. president bush just days after the did the muslim mosque just miles from here to make that clear. muslim americans are part of the fabric of this society. islam itself is not a problem. it is one of the world's great religions. we are at war -- with muslims at large, but with a particular faction that seeks to go what the religion for its own purposes. -- seeks to, what their religion for its own purposes. -- seeks to coop the religion
for its own purposes. i was on the board that oversees this collection of islamic countries and visited the anniversary of this. i would not shy away from branding those who are apologists for terrorist groups. that is a gray area that we need to be very group about -- clear about. host: your request on twitter. -- here is a question on twitter. why do the terrorists hate us? can you answer that? guest: of canada has been very clear about why they hate us -- al qaeda has been very clear about why they hate us. it is clear why al qaeda hate
us. why other groups to see the u.s. as a target, i think that has to do more with the fact that we are still the sole superpower. and we are seen as the vanguard of globalization and internationalization, which in some ways is antithetical to some of these groups agendas. host: robert, on the independent line. caller: the jenin sounds great right now, but i recall -- the gentleman sounds great right now, but i recall islam bashes and going iran to -- is lot economy ashes and going on during the bush administration. i remember a of a grave. we were looking 1.3 billion muslims, but we are suggesting that somehow they had an influence over all of these individuals when that was not the case. and particularly, going forward
with how they prosecuted this particular war and how everything was inflated. there were no weapons of mass destruction. there was no connection between a set of usain and in fact, those individuals had -- saddam hussein, and intech for those individuals had different philosophies. there were a lot of things or not in the bush administration that made them accessories to the al qaeda movement and increased their numbers. guest: it is a fair point and a fair question. the reality of habré grade, that was a disastrous moment -- abu grhaib was a disastrous moment for the u.s. guantanamo itself, a huge question. part of the reason in 2006 that
president boris said guantanamo had to be closed. there is -- president bush said guantanamo had to be closed. there is no question that it appeared in some quarters that we were targeting muslims or muslim countries. but i would say, look, the reality is that we have a common enemy in al qaeda. is a common enemy not just to the united states, but human tighter on the world, and particularly muslim majority communities and that is a group and movement that needs to be isolated. whether or not our policies represent the, that is a different question. you have the koran burning in afghanistan. i do not think that is something the obama administration wanted to have happened. unfortunately, these things happen and they tend to temper
and shape the environment. we need to keep repeating our actions that we are not at war with a religion, but with a group. host: next call from strasbourg, pennsylvania. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i wonder about this. it is very important because it is very disturbing. we still have people coming from all these countries that have terrorist in them. if they have a passport, they can come over here. about poor little cousins coming up here from mexico to pick vegetables or something like that. haveder where we don't some better immigration reform. and right away, but the draft again -- why don't we come up
with the draft again? and these guys generalizing about muslims, that is where we get into trouble. guest: one of the things i you have seen in the last 11 years now is the fact that we have built up an intelligence structure. some would say we have violated civil liberties and argue to the contrary. an intelligence structure, along with a vetting process that allows us to understand better who is coming into the country and who we are allowing in. it needs to be better. it is robust and is working in many respects. immigration reform, not an expert on immigration reform. we need to have an open society and one of the balances that we've had in the past 10 years is asking what the balance is between prti